The image was posted by an account linked to an official Chinese law enforcement agency

A social media post by a powerful wing of the Communist Party of China (CPC) had ridiculed the Covid-19 humanitarian crisis unfolding in India, comparing the lighting of funeral pyres at an Indian crematorium with the launch of a Chinese rocket last week. The post has now been deleted.

The Commission for Political and Legal Affairs (CPLA) of the CPC’s central committee published a collage of two images on its Weibo account on Saturday, showing the Chinese rocket launch and the lighting of a pyre in India, side by side.

The caption to the collage reads something along the lines of - “When China sets things on fire vs. when India does it”.
The Weibo post, which has been taken off, was made a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he was concerned about the pandemic situation in India, and had conveyed his condolences.

The CPLA is a powerful organ in the CPC structure and oversees police officers, prosecutors and courts. It is currently headed by Guo Shengkun, a member of the political bureau of the CPC’s central committee – two of the top decision-making wings in China.

London-based journalist and researcher Mengyu Dong, who tweeted the collage, wrote: “Someone apparently thought it was a good idea to make fun of the latest Covid-19 outbreak in India? An acct (account) affiliated with CCP Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission posted this on Weibo. Caption: When China sets things on fire vs when India does it.”

China Digital Times, which tracks China’s online world, reported: “Official accounts such as the Chinese Police Online and the Tianjin Municipal People’s Procuratorate have posted a picture on several platforms mocking India’s fight against the epidemic: ‘China’s Fire Shine Mountain, India’s Fire Shine Mountain.’”

Hindustan Times has reached out to the Chinese foreign ministry for a comment on the CPLAC post and is awaiting a reaction.

Chinese official media, too, has a history of mocking Indians.

During the Doklam standoff near the Sikkim border in 2017, news agency Xinhua had released a video with racist overtones that had mocked and parodied Indians.

The video in English ran a little more than three minutes and was titled “7 Sins of India: It’s time for India to confess its seven sins”.

It featured a man with a turban and a fake beard - an apparent attempt at mocking at an Indian Sikh person - speaking in English in the way in which Indians are perceived to speak the language.

Last Thursday, China sent to space a key module for its permanent space station, which it plans to complete by 2022 as part of its ambitious space program.